Class of 2009

October 2011

Dear 2009 Gusties,

I hope this letter finds you well.  It seems like yesterday we were all meeting each other for the first time up on the hill.  If you haven’t heard this year is the college’s 150th anniversary, also known as the sesquicentennial.  There are many exciting things going on during this year and I hope you can come back to Gustavus and be a part of it.  Last weekend (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) marked the beginning of the sesquicentennial year along with the annual homecoming celebration.  I hope you had a chance to come back to the hill for homecoming and the kickoff of sesquicentennial weekend, but if you had other commitments during this weekend please come back to visit any time of the year.  You are always welcome!

There are many exciting things happening during the sesquicentennial year and I am excited to share one of them with you.  The Alumni Association has adopted a new class leadership structure and with this structure there is more opportunity for you to be involved.  This structure has five officer positions:  Class President, VP/Reunion Chair, Annual Fund Chair, Communications Chair and Student Recruitment Chair.  Each officer: reunion, annual fund, communications and student recruitment will have a committee in which you are invited to be a part of.  I would like you to consider joining a committee whether it is to write a class letter, plan a happy hour event in the Twin Cities, call potential new Gusties or be a leader in the annual fund.  Each officer has a very specific role and I am excited to work with all the fine individuals below so I will let them introduce themselves to you.

Vice President/Reunion Chair: My name is Chris Edelbrock.  I am working as a procurement analyst at Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington.  On August 27, 2011, I married Erin Koppang in Minnesota.  We are living in Seattle, Washington enjoying this new adventure.  As the Vice President/Reunion Chair I am in charge of the reunion and helping coordinate the work of the class officers with the class president.

Annual Fund Chair:  Hello all!  My name is Maggie Hedlund, and I am so honored and excited to serve as the Annual Fund Chair for the Class of 2009.  To catch you all up on me, in May of 2011 I completed my master’s degree in communication studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  I wrote my capstone on my experiences as a graduate intern in the Office of Marketing and Communication at our dear Gustavus.  That has led to my current post as the sesquicentennial assistant for the 2011-12 celebration!  I work directly with the President’s Office, completing projects, writing, research, and event planning when needed.  I have memorized many Gustie facts, and would be happy to share them with anyone.  Also, I just recently moved to Shakopee, MN, with my significant other Tony Forster ʼ08, just about mile away from Canterbury Park.  I am enjoying living a little closer to the Cities, and enjoying my talk radio and diet pop on my drive to St. Peter each weekday.  The annual fund chair will specifically work on increased participation to the Annual Fund from our class through different events, mailings and opportunities for you to closely engaged with your alma mater.  I am excited to serve the Class of 2009!

Communications Chair:  My name is Holly Andersen and via some crazy organization by the name of Teach For America, I’ve spent these last two years as a special education teacher at Brooklyn Center High School in Brooklyn Center, MN.  I have unexpectedly found myself enthralled by our country’s education system.  Due to this, I’ll be remaining at BCHS for at least this following school year while I simultaneously engage in that ever-present task of figuring which urban-education-related path to travel next in life−all the while trying to spend as much time near Minneapolis’ lakes as I possibly can, of course.  The Communications Chair will specifically work with items like this, our class letter, and other communications to you.  I hope you will consider writing a class letter!

Student Recruitment Chair: Hi, my name is Nicole Parris.  Last year, I moved from Minnesota to Arizona to be close to my parents and family.  I have spent my summers working in Alaska and will be working there once again this summer in Denali National Park.  I am recently engaged and in the process of planning my wedding to my wonderful fiancé.  Other than that I have been taking a few classes at the local college here and should be completing my degree sometime in the next year.  The Student Recruitment Chair will give you a chance to contact new Gusties whether they are in the application process or ready to come to the hill!  The best people to share advice about Gustavus are the ones who have been here already!

Class President: My name is Shawn Grygo and I am so excited to serve as the Class President for the class of 2009.  In July of 2011, I completed my master’s degree in higher education focusing on college student affairs.  My current job post is working at the one and only, Gustavus!  I am working in the Residential Life office as an area coordinator and head resident in Southwest Hall.  I specifically oversee 7 of the 13 residence halls on campus, so I keep busy!  In my work as the class president I will serve as the liaison to the Alumni Office and also to help coordinate the work of the entire class leadership team.

I would encourage you to serve on a committee.  More information about these committees will come out in October, but if you are interested in serving on any or multiple committees please email me at with your committee preference.  One last favor to ask of you, we would love to know how and what you are doing, and we want your fellow classmates to know, too. In order to share your news, go to  I hope you have the opportunity to come back to the hill during this amazing year!

Go Gusties!

In Gustie Spirit,

Shawn Grygo

2009 Class President

Campaign Gustavus Announcement

At the Sesquicentennial and Campaign Kickoff Dinner held on campus on Friday Sept. 30, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Bernhardson announced the official kickoff a comprehensive fundraising campaign, Campaign Gustavus.  The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $150 million by the end of 2015 to fund the strategic initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150.  The focus of Campaign Gustavus is to ensure the College has the resources to continue providing opportunities for teaching and learning in a caring community.  To find out more about Campaign Gustavus and how you can be involved, visit:

2011 Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus will induct new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Alumni Hall.  Inductees for 2011 are Owen Sammelson ’58, benefactor; Amanda Murdock Diehl ’92, gymnastics; Jay Klagge ’92, basketball; Bryan Ripken ’94, swimming; Todd Anderson ’95, soccer; Tracy Erickson McMorrow ’95, tennis; Scott Moe ’95, golf; Laura LeVander Peters ’96, softball; and Colleen Barland Sherman ’96, soccer.

The Hall of Fame Moment is the 1991 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship, won with the final routine of the meet.  Team members are invited to return to revisit this memorable sports moment.  Banquet tickets are $15 per person. Reservations are requested by October 7. Register online or contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or

GLA Author Day

Anyone who loves reading, writing, dogs, newspapers, the Northwoods, and travel will enjoy hearing journalist Laurie Hertzel at the Fall Author Day event on Tuesday, October 18, at Edina Country Club.  The cost is $25 for brunch and Hertzel’s presentation.  Make your reservations online at or call the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7550 by Wednesday, October 12.

Christmas in Christ Chapel

As the College’s Sesquicentennial Christmas in Christ Chapel, Julljus:  Light from the Old World, Light to the New brings us to the celebration of Christ’s light—to Sweden in the Middle Ages; to Minnesota in the 19th century; and to our fractured and darkened world today.  At the center of the 39th annual community celebration is Julotta, the traditional Christmas matins service brought by Swedish immigrants to the New World.  Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2011 go on sale online on October 17 at noon at  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 507-933-7520 after noon on October 17 to place your credit card order.